Having been in use since 2002, the radio system for the Derby Police Department’s records divisions is in need of an upgrade – with the division being a hub for radio transmissions and the current system past its end of life (with no maintenance agreements available).
Derby Police Chief Robert Lee brought an equipment replacement proposal before the Derby City Council at its Sept. 8 meeting, asking for said upgrade of the records division’s radio system.
With a new system, the records division could continue monitoring multiple channels (including Suburban Law, Police Information, Public Works and state radio), broadcast needed information (i.e., vehicle registration, warrant checks, etc.) to officers in the field, patch channels together in emergency situations, open certain building doors and more.
“There’s a number of things that they use those radios for,” Lee said.
Additionally, while Lee clarified that the police radios are different than the fire department’s radios, he noted that is another channel that could be added for the records division to monitor – like Public Works – in order to help better direct personnel during emergencies.
Currently, the system allows for radio transmission activation through a foot pedal (to allow multi-tasking), which Lee noted would continue following the upgrade. One new ability the upgrade would facilitate is for up to five cell phones – likely those of command staff – to communicate directly through the radio system.
Lee did note the cell phone radio function would likely not be used that often, though, especially considering it does not take long to get out of range of the system.
It was also noted this was different than radio upgrades discussed in a previous budget meeting, as Council Member Andrew Swindle asked for clarification. Those more expensive upgrades (approaching in 2024/2025) dealt with handheld/mobile units for officers in patrol cars.
The upgrade for the records division system was already approved by the bid board and came in $300 under budget, with the city council also approving the equipment purchase with First Wireless (the sole source bidder) for $63,682.06.
In other business, the Derby City Council:
- Approved a resolution authorizing the sale of General Obligation Refunding and Improvement Bond Series 2020-A and Temporary Note Series 2020-1 of the city of Derby – for special assessments and a street reconstruction. The sale can be awarded by the mayor if the bids are within the necessary parameters – $4.5 million with a maximum interest rate of 2.25 percent for the bonds and $7 million with a maximum interest rate of 2.1 percent for the notes.
- Approved the final plat of El Paso Crossing 2nd Addition; adopted resolutions for construction of public improvements to serve the addition; adopted the reassessment ordinances; authorized the Mayor to sign and directed staff to record the plat, resolutions, respread agreement and developer's agreement.
- Appointed Dana Quigley to fill Mitch Mencacci’s unexpired term (ending May 2021) on the Planning Commission, as recommended by Mayor Randy White.
- Approved the consent agenda, including the assessment ordinance for a $115 nuisance abatement and a CARES Act agreement directing $484,460 in funding to the city of Derby.